April 28, 2015 at 5:02 pm #434697
There are a whopping ELEVEN categories that I consider too close to call this season! Here is my take on them:
Lead Actor in a Musical: wide open. I’m not convinced that Brian d’Arcy James should be considered a frontrunner. I personally dislike Ken Watanable’s nomination (groan) but I know most others don’t see it my way. Michael Cerveris is a previous winner of a Tony, not sure if that gives hm an edge or not, Robert Fairchild is a newcomer. Tony Yazbeck is my pick for the award – musical comedy genius performance! Maybe the precursors will help sort this out, but Cerveris is ineligible so I don’t really think they will…
Lead Actress in a Musical: Kelli O’Hara vs. Chita Rivera. O.K., deep breath time, I know I know I know the fanboys want Kelli O’Hara to win and truly believe she should and will (I disagree). Chita is a legendary performer in her last role, it’s a dramatic musical role, something she hasn’t done before, she’s BRILLIANT, and it’s a star diva performance. It’s also (as I’ve posted before) a more difficult role. But it’s going to be close. O’Hara is a fan favorite who sings beautifully and has charm and beauty. She has been deserving of recognition for many years. Younger voters will go for her. So it’s really close! I’m leaning towards Chita, but that may be my heart ruling my head…
Featured Actor in a Musical: Andy Karl vs. Brad Oscar. Both are wonderful performances by charismatic performers. I want Andy Karl to win, but I dunno what will actually happen…
Featured Actress in a Musical: Judy Kuhn vs. Sydney Lucas. For me this should be easy: Sydney Lucas is phenomenal, terrific, and amazing. I love Judy Kuhn, and have loved her for a very long time (welcome back, Judy!). I’m leaning towards Sydney Lucas. I keep thinking about Daisy Eagan’s win for The Secret Garden…
Scenic Design for a Musical: Bob Crowley’s (with Production 59) sets and Parisian designs for An American In Paris vs. Michael Yeargan’s work on the revival of The King and I. I’m leaning towards Crowley for the win here. (Would love for David Zinn to win for Fun Home – simpler designs, yes, but creative, inventive and adds to the joy of the show!)
Costume Design of a Musical: wide open. I honestly have no idea which designer will win this one…
Director of a Musical: any of the nominees could win. I’m leaning towards Sam Gold, because it’s a new musical rather than a revival, and it’s more substantial than Something Rotten! (I want John Rando to win).
Orchestrations: since the best orchestrations (On the Town) isn’t nominated, I really don’t know who will win this award. I think it’s really between the Gershwin tunes and the original songs from Fun Home – leaning towards the latter.
Revival of a Play: The Elephant Man vs. Skylight vs. You Can’t Take It With You. Prestige (Elephant), still open and extremely well reviewed (Skylight), and sheer fun and enjoyable (You Can’t Take It With You). I’m leaning somehow for the latter show to win this category.
Featured Actor in a Play: wide open. It feels like Nathaniel Parker will win, but I dunno. A case can be made for everyone except Matthew Beard, the nomination is his award. I’m rooting for Micah Stock.
Featured Actress in a Play: wide open. I have no idea where this category is going to wind up. Really suspenseful…April 28, 2015 at 6:11 pm #434699
The only race where I think literally anybody can win is Lead Actor in a Musical. All of them have received critical praise, all are currently running and all are in shows that were well-received by the voters (although the pool that votes on winners is far larger than the pool that votes on nominations). Cerveris is in the Best Musical frontrunner, James is due for recognition. I think it will be between those two.April 29, 2015 at 6:21 am #434700
This will just be a very interesting award season with Fun Home being ineligible leading up to the Tonys while Hamilton IS eligble. Normally the precursors tend to go for Broadway but with as much buzz and acclaim as Hamilton has, I wonder if it may end up winning some major precursors awards which will only make the Tonys all the more suspensful.
I do think Fun Home will take it in the end.
With Actor in a Musical, I feel Cerveris will end up taking it but it will be interesting to see how well Something Rotten does because frankly I feel Brian D’Arcy James is a worthy contender to win and he is also grossly overdue after being robbed for Shrek. I don’t see Watanabe winning in this case, but then you have the two dancing men: Fairchild and Yazbek. I haven’t seen Fairchild yet but I have seen Yazbek. I am not sure if he has the momentum to pull it off, but he did a lovely job in the show. Aside from the dancing, Lonely Town was a huge highlight of the night thanks to his emotional rendition and his voice was so booming and old-fashioned in a good way.
It will be interesting where the tide goes but for now, I am sticking with Cerveris.
Actress in a Musical: Most years we seem to have a solid frontrunner from the get-go. Last year, it was a little suspensful but by the end, it seemed Mueller had it in the bag but a lot of people were wishing O’Hara could pull it off. This year we have a three-way race as of now and I could see any scenario happening between Rivera, O’Hara, and Chenoweth. Sure, O’Hara may be overdue and the other two have won before but of the three of them, I would place her in 3rd and this point but things could change. I think it will end up being Rivera vs. Chenoweth.
The Featured races usually offer more suspense than Lead and this year is no different.
In Actress, I think it will come down to Lucas and Kuhn but then with them being ineligible otherwise, it will also add another possible contender into the mix but in the end, I would be surprised if it isn’t Lucas or Kuhn.
In Actor, we may see the one chance in the evening they will want to honor someone for Something Rotten….or perhaps even one of the American in Paris guys…and then you have Andy Karl…..in all honesty, this can go anywhere I think.
Orchestrations will be interesting and since On the Town was ineligible (and they are the best orchestrations I have heard on Broadway in over a decade), this will end up being a toss-up. Frankly, I feel this was a category where Honeymoon in Vegas should have contended because the music was catchy and if anything wasn’t great, the orchestrations sure made up for it. I could see them going for any of them at this point, and they are all good on their own merits.
I would argue Lead Actor in a Play is closer than some may think. Curious Incident and Hand to God are drastically different as are the two performances represented in this category. With Sharp, you have such a powerful emotional dramatic work while with Boyer, you have him playing a teenager and voicing a demonic puppet in a very dark and viscious comedy. A lot of people are rumbling as to whether Hand to God can pull off a last-minute Avenue Q type upset but I am not so certain if it can…..I think it is possible but I don’t know if I would predict it yet but I have a feeling that if Curious Incident does win Play that perhaps they will throw Boyer the win in that case….who knows.May 1, 2015 at 2:43 am #434701
Lead Actor in a Musical: My guess is that Cerveris will take this if it’s a big night for Fun Home overall. Something Rotten’s buzz seems to have dwindled since it started previews and the Times panned it, but James could walk away with their single award for the night. I don’t think the other three have much of a chance at this point, but Fairchild could sneak in.
Lead Actress in a Musical: This award will be especially dependent on Brantley and Isherwood’s predictions in the coming weeks. I’m a fan of all three front-runner’s performances, but my gut tells me it’s between O’Hara and Chenoweth. Chita publicly said this is NOT her last role on The View this week, which I think probably hurts her chances, honestly. Chita is a legend and while “Love and Love Alone” is touching, I didn’t find her role to be at all more difficult than O’Hara’s. Anna is one of the most well-written female roles in the canon; Chenoweth was born to play Lily. I think they will duke it out, and O’Hara will prevail.
Featured Actor in a Musical: I hope Andy Karl takes it, but if the voters are loving Something Rotten, it could tip in Brad or Christian’s favor. This one is really close.
Featured Actress in a Musical: Much like Lead Actress, this is between three ladies: Kuhn, Lucas, and Miles. Kuhn had the most buzz pre-nominations, but Lucas is picking up steam. People love to see kids win (like the Billys). At least in this case, Lucas is giving a wonderfully nuanced performance. Miles is a dark horse here.
Scenic/Costume Design for a Musical: This might be the best place for the voters to honor An American In Paris. Yeargan did great conceptual work for King and I, while Zinn’s use of the space at Circle in the Square was exceptional. If TKAI takes costumes (which I believe they will), they could very well take scenic. Otherwise, I’d say Crowley.
Director: This one isn’t as close for me. Gold should take it.
Orchestrations: This is tough. If it’s a Fun Home sweep, it could go their way. If An American in Paris really puts up a fight throughout the entire evening like some are expecting after the nominations, they might win. The win for this award often gets swept in with score (regardless of whether it should), so I think it’ll be another win for Fun Home.May 1, 2015 at 7:07 am #434702
Actress in a Musical is thisclose between Chenoweth and O’Hara. I change my mind every day because they both have so much going for them and really nothing against them. Can’t wait for the Times mini-poll on this one; that thing is amazingly predictive.
Featured Actor in a Musical is one I could see four of the nominees taking. Karl is hilarious, but he doesn’t have much to sing really. The two over-the-top guys from Rotten may be hard for voters who like that sort of thing to choose between. I could see von Essen pulling votes from voters who want more subtlety.
Costume Design/Musical will absolutely go to King and I. I don’t think there’s any question, as many voters will know that Zuber also did Gigi‘s highly-praised costumes.
Scenic Design/Musical I think at this point will go to An American in Paris. King and I had that spectacular boat sequence in the opening, but much of it was more spare after that. It worked for me, but I’m well aware that other people weren’t so keen. Fun Home is an amazingly inventive use of space, but so much of AAIP‘s success is attributable to the mood established by the design. OTTC seems to be a “thank you for playing” here, though the design was very functional, which is a tough trick in a farce.May 1, 2015 at 10:24 am #434703
I still think Musical is not a done deal. Even Michael Riedel said yesterday that American in Paris has the edge because it will appeal more to the touring producers, who make up a large voting block. I think that Fun Home has a slight edge at this point, but the show lacks the feel-good factor, which could push American in Paris over the top.
Actress in a musical is between O’Hara and Chenowith with Rivera as the spoiler. My gut tells me that O’Hara will get it, even though Chenowith gives the bigger performance.
Actor in a Musical is a real toss up: A strong case could be made for all of the nominees, except Watanabe. Cerveris is currently my pick, but I certainly see Fairchild as a threat as he got the strongest buzz of any newcomer on Broadway this season. A Yazbeck win would be amazing!! But I’m not sure enough voters will have seen him, and the show itself only got four nominations.
Actor in a Play will go to Sharp unless there is a sudden surge for Boyer, who gives the more dynamic performance.May 1, 2015 at 10:34 am #434704
I’m comparing this year’s Best Musical race between Fun Home and AAIP to last year’s between AGGTLAM and Beautiful. The “smaller” show with the original score beat the more road-friendly show with the familiar song catalogue. And I’m betting the same thing happens this year. In the past ten years, only Jersey Boys has won Best Musical using a familiar song catalogue. (Once doesn’t count because no one knew any of the songs except “Falling Slowly”. And also from that year, calling primary competition Newsies an original score is iffy at best.) Road producers make up about 10% of the voting body, but I think that original score is very important to the other 90% of voters.
Of course, all this assumes we’re now discounting Something Rotten!.May 1, 2015 at 11:13 am #434705
Road producers make up a sizeable voting block, but are no longer the unstoppable force they were even ten years ago. The comparrison to last year’s race is apt. I think An American in Paris will take home choreography and set design, with a shot at orchestrations and book. But Best Musical seems unlikely to me. It is already a hit and has proven there is an audience for the show without the Tony. Fun Home and Something Rotten could use the Tony boost more and both posess original scores. I agree that Best Musical isnt a done deal, but I contend the race is between Fun Home and Something Rotten with AAIP in third.May 1, 2015 at 11:55 am #434706
^SamEckmann, I disagree. I think Fun Home is a lock on Best Musical and An American In Paris is in 2nd place, with Something Rotten! in a distant 3rd. I think Something Rotten! will either go home empty-handed (Book and Score are both going to Fun Home) or it will win Featured Actor (Brad Oscar). And as for the “road” vote, there are two road-friendly shows (AAIP and SR!) for them to split their votes for, so I think it makes it even more of a certainty that Fun Home (which is the deserving winner) will indeed win the Tony! Well, we’ll all find out on June 7th! (:May 1, 2015 at 1:32 pm #434707
It’s nice that there are so many open races this year, especially in the top categories. I love that we have some really great nominees that each have a good shot at winning.May 1, 2015 at 1:37 pm #434708
I’m comparing this year’s Best Musical race between Fun Home and AAIP to last year’s between AGGTLAM and Beautiful. The “smaller” show with the original score beat the more road-friendly show with the familiar song catalogue. And I’m betting the same thing happens this year.
Of course, all this assumes we’re now discounting Something Rotten!.
There’s one problem though…Beautiful was more acclaimed for Jessie Mueller rather than the production as a whole. This year is a little more nebulous. American in Paris was universally raved, as was Fun Home. I wonder too if subject matter will play a role. Fun Home is dark with a rather somber end (though I usually like these more). AAIP is such an “up” expeirence. This one is a real head scratcher. But I might stick with AAIP just because I’m a Taurus.May 15, 2015 at 12:32 pm #434709
In regards to featured actress in a musical, I believe that Judy Kuhn is going to pick up her Tony at long last. She’s now a four time nominee, a beloved veteran returning to Broadway for the first time in about 20 years. And her performance is shattering and nuanced and subtle…it’s really a remarkable performance. The buzz around Kuhn’s performance in the re-staging is also something remarkable. My belief is that she will win. The Tonys took some flack when the Billys won (and the Matildas in turn got a special award. I’ve said for years that children should be removed from the competitive categories and the committee should decide that if a child actor gives a worthy performance-regardless of how many actors play the part-they should give a Tony Honor (what the Matildas got). I’m not a fan of having child actors (when they’re not triple cast of course) competing like that. I think all child actors should be treated identically.)
Leading actor in a musical SHOULD go to Michael Cerveris (and I think it probably will). But, I agree that Fairchild or James isn’t out of the question.
Best Musical…head says American in Paris…heart says Fun Home.